Continuing from part 1.
Lee Yun Yeol was probably one of the youngest players in the league when he debuted as a pro — I’m pretty sure he was a junior high schooler. Despite his terrifyingly young look, his playing style was more like a veteran who knows how to maximize the unit productivity in a short period of time. We were always shocked with how many units that he produced, and watching a platoon of siege tanks moving towards the opponent base (knowing that in a few seconds something terrifying will happen to his opponent) was fun to watch, sometimes even giving the chill. To me, he is a tank boy. But when you see him being interviewed, he is such a humble being. He won a couple of championship throughout his career.
You might think that the league was completely domestic, but we had some legal aliens that had reached the same stardom as the other Korean star players as well. Like Guillaume Patry who was a French Canadian, a Protoss user whom eventually won the championship in one of the leagues. It is said that he invented many of the early tactics that became the standard for later Protoss users. He was a good looking fella too.
Bertrand Grospellier was a French terrain player and this guy had style. He always (literally always, period) showed up with a pair of shade — I don’t think anybody saw his naked eyes. If I remember correctly, sometimes he had a stick of matches in his mouth like in a wild wild west movie back in the days.. but I may be wrong. He never won a championship, but he was a solid top 4 player. What is surprising with Bertrand is that he was not only Starcraft professionally, but also played Warcraft 3 sometimes reaching the league’s grand finals. Not consecutively, but simultaneously. It’s like being a pro basketball and a pro soccer athlete at the same time. He must have some kind of dual-core processor in his brain. What’s more to it is the career afterwards, which I will save it for later.
Let me fast forward a little bit and move on to the next era where the league was dominated by these following four players: Kim Taek Yong, Song Byung Koo, Lee Young Ho, Lee Jae Dong. The Korean used to call it, the “Take Bang Lee Ssang (택뱅리쌍)” era.
Kim Taek Yong is a multi-tasking technicians.
Song Byung Koo is a maestro. Like Zidane or Pirlo.
Lee Young Ho is a well-balanced all-round player, like Christiano Ronaldo.
Lee Jae Dong is a tyrant. Defensive play is not in his dictionary. He’s like Shevchenko in his best days.
One of the epic games: https://youtu.be/LloxjP8QD_k